The PSA SURFCUIT Training Program

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So I constantly find myself getting landlocked plenty of times. Oh the pains of being a surfer from Manila. Work, family and many other things refrain you from getting out there. And aside from being surf starved, one thing that really sucks from getting stuck in the city is the fact that you do get out of shape. I mean you know it. How many times do find yourself weakly paddling out, barely duck diving and generally just feeling out shape?  Yeah many times. Surfing is a sport that really builds from muscle memory and the lack of surf – well, good luck on the next big swell.

Last month I was able to attend the SURFCUIT training program of the Philippine Surfing Academy held at the Club Manila East wave pool. Below are photos of what happened. Glad I came!

We started our training with Yoga. Our instructor is Aisa Locsin of Yoga Plus and our batch included TV personality Rovilson Fernandez. I tried Yoga before (no not really) so I ‘m pretty cool about it.

What the hell this is hard! I could barely lift my leg in whatever position this is. My muscles were shaking man!

Ok so I’m pretty clueless. Why can’t I get it right O_o

Seriously though, Yoga is the best way to ready the body for surfing. Professional surfers even have their own Yoga instructors and specialized Yoga regimen. As for me, I really felt my stress torn body loosen up far beyond simple stretching can give.

After Yoga, we headed out to the wave pool. Surfing time! Well not quite yet. We did surf drills like paddling and turtle diving – surfing basics. The SURFCUIT program really emphasizes on the basics. After all it is the basics that you need to brush up with. If you can’t get the basics right you’d probably have a grand time at the white water unable to reach the lineup.

To better get an idea what the training looks like, here’s a video prepared by the Philippine Surfing Academy.

Now it may look fun but I swear the training is serious stuff. You are going to sweat it out and get tired and you will feel pain. Think of it as a boot camp. After my training, I slept like a log that night and felt body aches the morning after. But you know what, it is exactly the same kind of ache you feel after a surf session. Talk about muscle memory huh. When I went surfing immediately the day after, my body was prepared.

Now where were we? Yes. Surfing time! The wave pool may not feel much like the normal surf spots we go to, but it has waves. And if there’s waves we can ride it. And if you ride waves… you get stoked!

Yew! there’s a certain feel out process at first. the waves are tricky and you have to get the right timing to catch the waves. PSA head coach Paolo Soler will definitely teach the trick.

our fit Yoga instructor Aisa catching a good one

sporty guy Rovilson getting his balance on

first timer Danielle getting the hang of it

a more advanced surfer Bea practicing her cross stepping

and one more time for yours truly, “walling” it up

our batch

All in all the SURFCUIT experience is what I needed and more. The Yoga was great, the drills (which I took seriously) really challenged me and the wave pool surfing made the day and got us all stoked. Would I recommend the training program to anyone? Definitely. The SURFCUIT 1. gets you in shape 2. scratches the surfing itch 3. gets you stoked 4. prepares you for the next surf session 5. uhm well, this beats just hanging around the house watching tv.

So yes. The next time you check your schedule and find out you can’t go out surfing, call the Philippine Surfing Academy right away. You may not be surfing, but you can still TRAIN. And the wave pool, it’s the best next thing to actual waves.

Many thanks to Paolo, Rozie and Earl of the Philippine Surfing Academy and to Club Manila East. Check out the poster for the training program.

 *action photos by the PSA


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A Manila Surfer’s Guide to the 7th Manila Surfer’s Cup: Para Sa’yo to, Kid!

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The Philippine surfing bug hasn’t bitten anyone locally more harder than those who live in Metro Manila. These city based surfers come from all sorts of background – college students, doctors, musicians, lawyers, call center agents, bums, celebrities, young professionals, old professionals – and they all devote time, money and effort to surf different surf spots and get stoked over the weekend. In perspective, one can argue that surfers from Manila, from the casual beginner to the dedicated surfer, have contributed well to the rise and popularity of surfing in the Philippines.

The Manila Surfers Association has been around as early as 2005 and is a collection of like minded individuals who fell in love with the waves and decided to pursue surfing not just as a sport or leisure, but as an actual lifestyle. The group started out with only few members but has gone big with hundreds of members as of the current. Yearly, the group organizes an event called the Manila Surfers Cup – a surf competition aimed to create a fun environment and also as a chance to give back to the local community.

Check out the first MSA Cup here and check out the last MSA Cup here.

The 7TH MANILA SURFERS’ CUP: Event Details and Categories

This year’s Manila Surfers’ Cup is to be held once again at San Juan, La Union where it all began. The title “Para Sa’yo to Kid” is a reference to the Medical Mission for the kids of La Union that is to follow after the surf competition.

What: 7th Manila Surfer’s Cup: Para Sa’yo to, Kid!
Where: Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
When: March 10 to 11, 7am call time
Who: Surfers with AT LEAST 1 year residency in Manila. Open to MSA and non MSA Members,

1. Pre-register at the kick-off party on March 7 party at Hao HK Diner, Jupiter St, Makati 8pm (*preferred).
2. For online registration, email with your full name, address, contact details and desired division. Reply will be sent for confirmation and payment details.
3. Walk in registration at the event, 7am cut-off time. Look for Jam Choa.

Registration fee per person is Php 300 for 1 division and Php 500 for 2 divisions during the kick off party. At the event day, registration fee is Php 500 for 1 division and Php 800 for 2 divisions.

Strictly no pay = no play. Contact MSA officers TJ at 0917 587 4762 and Jam at 0928 520 1768. Don’t forget to accept and join the Facebook invite here.

SURF COMP CATEGORIES and DIVISIONS (with basic explanation)

NOVICE - men’s and wahine - longboard – basic maneuvers (catches own wave, walling, basic turns).

OPEN - men’s and wahine - longboard & shortboard – advanced maneuvers (cross steps, nose riding, cut backs, floaters, etc.).

INVITATIONALmen’s and wahine - longboard & shortboardpast champions, surfers with exceptional skills, sponsored team riders, and surfers willing to compete at this level (subject to approval by the head judge and comp director)

COSTUME - mixed – open theme, anything goes!

*open to all Manila based surfers (MSA and non MSA member) with at least 1 year residency.


head judge and comp director reserve the final decision to transfer a surfer to a different division as the situation dictates. during a heat, if a surfer is ruled to be overqualified in his choice of division and/or if a surfer intentionally performs a maneuver beyond the level of the division as defined by the rules and the regulations of the competition- he/she will get point deductions or eventual disqualification.


Open Division
LONGBOARD: longboards 9ft and up
SHORTBOARD: shortboards 7ft and below, FISH boards (traditional, fishtails) allowed

Novice Division
LONGBOARD: boards 7ft and up, FUNboards (mini mals) allowed.

*boards are subject to approval by the head judge and comp director in accordance to the division (ie, a 7ft board may be a mini mal or a big wave gun). but please, use this as REFERENCE.


Funds that will be raised in this event will be used for the upcoming Medical Mission in La Union. Please join and support the 7th Manila Surfer’s Cup.

Get active and meet new surf buddies. Become a member of the Manila Surfers Association by following this link. Also visit the MSA Facebook page here.

*The 7th Manila Surfer’s Cup is brought to you by the Manila Surfers Association in partnership with Alohaboardshorts and the La Union Surf Club. is a proud media sponsor of the event along with other great sponsors. 

last year’s MSA Cup. and hope to see you this March!

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